Volunteer Spotlight: Austin Harrison

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Austin Harrison
Relationship Director, Identity Visuals
NAMA Board Member, Sponsorship Chair

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I started coming to NAMA events shortly after moving to Nashville. My boss recommended it as a great place to learn about the Nashville marketing community.

You currently serve (or have served) on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
About four years ago – when I first started at my role for Identity Visuals – I literally had no idea what I was doing and knew no one. So many people helped me that first year, taking me to coffee, giving me advice, connecting me with people, and inviting me to events like NAMA. Joining the board and endeavoring to do the same things for other new Nashvillians is one of the ways I’ve tried to pay it forward.

What has been (or was) your proudest moment in this role?
Helping to start the NAMA Podcast and negotiating that sponsorship was definitely one of the highlights. Clark and Chuck at Relationary have been amazing to work with, and it was a blast helping to kick that off.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
I’ve learned from the brightest Nashville (and sometimes other cities) has to offer, I’ve made lifetime friends, I’ve been able to help new people to town, and I’ve made great relationships that have resulted in working together. NAMA also was a huge part of making my first conference, the Mental Health Marketing Conference, successful last May.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
The quality of events, the welcoming nature, and the people.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
Seeing our small studio grow over the last four years to work with clients like CBS, Reddit, and Amazon. That and the time I got to tour the NASA Goddard Space station with the NASA animation team and see the James Webb Space Telescope in person – that was pretty cool.

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
You will not find a better opportunity in the marketing community to learn, build relationships, and give back than NAMA.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Earnhart

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Tim Earnhart
Founder/CEO of Werkshop Branding
NAMA Board Member, Chair of Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I re-joined NAMA in 2014 as a board member. However, our company had been a member since 2008. NAMA is a great place to find industry thought leadership, networking opportunities, potential business, and amazing friendships.

You currently serve on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
I enjoy giving of my time to valuable organizations that I personally will benefit from. NAMA provides multiple volunteer opportunities in various areas. It was easy for me to find a spot where I thought I could be of benefit to the organization. 

What has been (or was) your proudest moment in this role?
Upon joining the board in 2014, I initially served on the volunteer committee as co-chair and then chair. During this time I talked and met with countless professionals who wanted to get involved with NAMA and volunteer just like me. It was very fulfilling for me to meet these people and learn more about their passions and what drove them to want to get involved with NAMA.

Within the last few months, NAMA has launched the Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG – their newest special interest group – and I have agreed to chair that SIG. It only makes sense for NAMA to have such a group given the impact both entertainment and sports have on Nashville.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
The past three years have been extremely positive for me. I have learned so much interacting with fellow board members, members, and speakers/panelists. You get out of anything what you put in it. I live in Kentucky, so I’ve made it a commitment and priority to attend as many of the NAMA events as possible.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
NAMA is diverse. It’s that simple. Meaning, those who are involved with NAMA come from various professional disciplines like marketing, branding, advertising, communications, PR, social & digital media, C-suite, management, and even business ownership.

You will find a great mix of agency and corporate. I love this about NAMA. The diversity of our membership is great. This is what I think sets us apart from other groups.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
I’m what they call a serial entrepreneur, so I have had many memorable experiences. I’ve been a co-founder or partner of seven start-ups/companies over the last 16 years. I enjoy the excitement and challenges behind launching a new brand or growing an existing business.

I was honored in 2004 as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Bowling Green, KY Chamber of Commerce. My most proud moment was in 2012 when I was honored by Junior Achievement USA with the national Impact Award for my service to that non-profit organization. I’ve served on a local JA board for 20 years. 

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
Our time as professionals is precious. However, if you make a commitment to NAMA and all that it has to offer, it will be time well spent. You get out of it what you put in it. There’s plenty of other organizations and events in Nashville that can consume your time. However, if you are at all in the global world of marketing, you need to be a part of NAMA.

Introducing NAMA’s new Entertainment & Sports Marketing Special Interest Group!

By Stephanie Protz, Guest Blogger | 1.24.17

NAMA’s newest Entertainment & Sports Marketing Special Interest Group (SIG) was created to promote and support the marketing profession within the entertainment and sports industry in the Nashville area.

It is our goal to present programs that facilitate the highest level of marketing excellence to serve Nashville’s entertainment and sports marketing professionals.

The SIG’s in-depth learning events will allow marketing professionals to connect with others in their industry, while hearing best practices from industry leaders. Top-notch luncheon programs, workshops, and social events are being planned for 2017.

NAMA Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG Graphic

We will bring in distinguished sports and entertainment insiders to learn how Music City’s chart-topping productions are created.

Participation in this group is open to both members and non-members of NAMA; however, membership in the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association is highly encouraged.

Join us at our first event!

Our first networking event will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 31st, from 5-7 pm at Double Dogs – Sylvan Park (just 5 days before Super Bowl 51) to kick off the NAMA’s new Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG!

Register for the event here.

Wear your favorite NFL jersey or team’s colors and join us for a fun night of networking with other Nashville marketing professionals as we all gear up for the big game. Registration includes appetizer buffet and one drink ticket.

Stick around after the event to watch the Predators game on the big screens. Puck drops at 6 p.m.

SIG Leadership Team is comprised of the following volunteers:
SIG Chair: Tim Earnhart; tim@werkshopbranding.com
SIG Co-Chair: Emily Fay; emily.a.fay@gmail.com
Program Development: Wayne Leeloy, Chair; wayne.leeloy@g7marketing.com
Venue Development: Sharon Kendrew, Chair; skendrew@championlogistics.com
Sponsorship: Monchiere’ Holmes-Jones, Chair; mhjones@mojomktg.com
Communications: Stephanie Protz, Chair; stephprotz@yahoo.com

Mayor Megan Barry’s Marketing Plan for 2017

By Chelsea Kallman, NAMA Blogger | 1.23.17

With a fresh year in front of us we decided it was time to get a unique marketing perspective – from the public sector.

I spoke with Sean Braisted, Press Secretary for Mayor Megan Barry, to find out how our mayor plans to market Nashville in 2017.


A common tagline for our great city is “Nashville – A great place to live, work, and play.” Mayor Megan Barry plans to continue marketing our city as such, which is great because there has been plenty of news that confirms its truth.

Travel and Leisure named Nashville one of the friendliest cities in America. Braisted says this is due to local residents and workers who ensure all visitors leave with a great impression.

Another accolade: Forbes named Nashville the fourth best city for tech jobs.

“We have been very successful in bringing tech companies from the Bay Area to Nashville, while also growing our homegrown tech community through organizations like the Entrepreneur Center and Nashville Technology Council,” Braisted said.

The Mayor plans to play up what is already great about Nashville. This means embracing Nashville as Music City, including the television show ‘Nashville.’ He says the show highlights our culture and many entertainment venues in our city.

It is one of the best investments we can make from a marketing standpoint in helping to ensure the show will remain on the air in this coming year and have the number of episodes necessary to be syndicated,” Braisted explained.

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Because Nashville is comprised of many different types of people, it would be difficult to look past all the artists in our population.

“Nashville’s creative community enriches the quality of life for all of our residents and sets our city apart from others,” he continued.

A tangible investment in this branding has been The Ryman Lofts, an MDHA project providing affordable housing options for artists.

“Additionally, we are looking at ways to expand the availability of maker space in Nashville so that creative and talented people have a physical place to turn their ideas and dreams into reality,” Braisted said.

Mayor Megan Barry also wants to embrace diversity, inclusion, and equity. She doesn’t want to shy away from shining light on difficult, yet important topics.

“As the Mayor often says, it doesn’t matter where you come from, how you got here, or whom you love – Nashville should remain a warm and welcoming place to call home,” Braisted said.

He also reminds us of last summer when, following the nationwide officer-involved shootings, Mayor Barry held a Race, Equity, and Leadership summit bringing nearly 1,000 community members and Metro officials together to discuss areas where they could improve the community.

The Mayor also hosted a youth violence summit, bringing together more than 400 students from Nashville’s public high schools to discuss key issues and ways to proactively address them.

Stemming from this summit came Opportunity NOW, an initiative aimed at connecting youths age 14-24 with meaningful paid internships or jobs over the summer break. This is a private-public partnership, and the goal is to employ 10,000 youth in 2017. Businesses and nonprofits around the city are being asked to step up to be a part of Opportunity NOW. One of the first companies to sign on was HCA, which donated $250,000 to fund 100 internships.

Another driving force in Mayor Megan Barry’s plan to continue Nashville’s growth is nMotion, a $6 billion, 25-year strategic plan for mass transit. She is developing nMotion so Nashville can join other major cities that have a “robust transit system.” This project is currently working to establish long term funding streams.

At a time when Nashville is quickly growing in both popularity and population, we are all fortunate to have such a goal-oriented leadership team in our local government.

What are your growth plans for yourself, your company, and Nashville in 2017?

[PODCAST] Dan Rogers brings stories to life at the Grand Ole Opry

By Chuck Bryant, Relationary Marketing | 10.6.16

Dan Rogers remembers listening to the original Grand Ole Opry radio show with his parents, trying to guess how large the crowd was or debating whether or not there would be a surprise guest.

“The Opry was a place you could go to in your mind on a Saturday night when you’re 8 years old and stuck in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois.”

Now almost 30 years later, Rogers is the senior marketing director at the Grand Ole Opry, and will be the featured guest at Nashville American Marketing Association Power Lunch on October 13, discussing the impact of the Opry’s storytelling opportunities on marketing.  

Rogers started as a graduate intern right after college, and hasn’t looked back since. He said The Opry presents so many unique opportunities for stories and experiences.

“It’s a place where you have all these personalities coming together,” Rogers said, “You could have Carrie Underwood listening to a bluegrass artist, or Vince Gill watching a new performer who idolized him growing up.”  

The tradition of the Opry starts with the stories artists and fans share about their unique experiences with the radio show, concerts, or personalities.

“It’s about the music, but it’s also this very special relationship between the artists and fans.”

For an establishment seeped in tradition, Rogers is trying to expand the reach of their stories through organic uses of social media by artists and fans. In the old days the only method of delivering an experience was through radio or TV. Now stars and fans interact on social media, sharing stories in real time.


While the show might not be as prominent as it once was, the Opry is still an important staple to so many people. Rogers thinks back to watching so many up and coming artists who perform at the Opry for the first time, and invite all their family members from all over the world to see them.    

“You’re reminded of what an important part of America is right in our backyard in Nashville.”

Connect with Rogers on LinkedIn.

On October 13, Dan Rogers presents The Grand Ole Opry’s Secrets to Using Storytelling for Impact at the NAMA Power Lunch at City Winery. Register now.  

Editor’s Note: The NAMA Power Lunch podcast is a production of Relationary Marketing in partnership with the Nashville American Marketing Association. This episode was produced by Chuck Bryant and host Clark Buckner, edited and mixed by Jess Grommet, with music by Zachary D. Noblitt.


Chuck Bryant is co-founder and CEO of Relationary Marketing, a podcast production agency that creates broadcast-quality interviews for rich content marketing, event promotion, relationship nurturing and thought leadership.

Member Spotlight: Jeffrey Horne

Jeff Horne Head Shot

Jeffrey Horne
Communicator in Chief, Rustici Software
Co-founder/Director, Moxie Flock Social Media Marketing

IT Specialist, NAMA Communications Committee

What prompted you to join NAMA?
A couple of years ago, my good friends, Knight Stivender and Courtenay Rogers, who were on the NAMA board (and still are), were looking for somebody to help with the technical side of Communications. They asked me if I’d be the co-chair of Communications, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

You currently serve on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
My skillset naturally lends itself to the role that I play in NAMA as IT Specialist. I’m a marketer, but I also have a considerable amount of tech skills — that means I can fill a particular gap at NAMA that not a lot of people can.

I also love meeting new people, and hearing the story of people’s lives (personal and professional). I love spreading the word about how helpful NAMA can be to other marketers, and connecting people to resources that can be helpful from a career standpoint.

What has been your proudest moment in this role on the NAMA board?
When I first started as Communications Co-Chair, we realized that our website needed an overhaul. I managed the process of the redesign and coding of our new/existing site, made sure that it was easy to update, and ensured that it promoted the material that we find useful.

As a volunteer, coordinating the design of a brand new site wasn’t a small task, but it was definitely worth it.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
NAMA has allowed me to meet a lot of new people, and opened a lot of doors for me. The simple fact of being involved with NAMA means that you have a wide network of resources from which to pull. Being involved with a professional organization like NAMA means that networking, learning, and growing become much easier.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
I was recently asked to represent NAMA on a panel about various professional groups in Nashville. One of the questions was “If your organization were an animal, which would it be?” I thought about this question a lot, because it’s a weird question. For two reasons, I came to the conclusion that NAMA would be an elephant.

  1. Elephants find food together. When they need resources, they pool together and figure it out collectively – just like NAMA.
  2. Elephants raise their young collectively. When a new member is added to the group, the entire group chips in to make sure the new family member is safe and taken care of – just like NAMA.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
Going to the regional retreat in Charlotte, N.C. was a lot of fun — I was able to meet a lot of other regional NAMA board members, and share a lot of ideas.

But, the most memorable experiences that I’ve had are the honors that have been bestowed on me. They align directly with my time on the NAMA board. In 2014, I was honored to win the Nashville Business Journal’s CMO of the Year award, and in 2015, I won the Nashville Tech Council’s Marketing Innovator of the Year award.

There really aren’t words for how good it feels to be recognized for hard work.

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
NAMA is the best organization in Nashville that helps with educating, connecting, and providing resources for marketers in Nashville. The events, mixers, and opportunities that NAMA opens up for marketers is unmatched in Nashville.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or new to the city/profession, one of the most valuable things that you can do for your career is to get involved with NAMA.

Incoming NAMA President: Get Ready to Have Some Fun!

By Jamie Dunham, NAMA President | 7.24.16

Happy New Year, NAMA!

It seems a little funny to say, “Happy New Year,” but for the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association (NAMA), it’s a New Year, and our talented new board has been busy with plans for new NAMA year 2016-2017.

www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)

So in the spirit of the season, let’s throw some confetti and thank last year’s leaders for a great foundation on which to grow. And let’s countdown this New Year with some new goals and initiatives – because that’s what marketers do.

Here are some of the changes in our new year:

New Venue for Our Power Lunches
That’s right, we are moving our lunch meetings to the fantastic City Winery venue that will well accommodate our speakers and programming with state-of-the-art staging and audio-visual.

And we will have discounts for Lyft to get us there in style.

Our Hospitality Chair Teresa Faust is working with her group to get us ready for our first Thursday Power Lunch on Sept. 8. And our programming committee led by Ann Howard is planning smart insightful speakers.

New sponsor Relationary Marketing will create podcasts with our speakers to allow us to know them better.

What’s your jam? Ours is The One Hitters, a fun One Hit Wonders Band, where NAMA member Peter Cronin and his band mates rock out.

2016 NAMA JAMA Graphic

So “Baby Come Back” to our NAMA JAMA Mixer on Aug. 9 at Stagepost. You like it “More Today than Yesterday,” and you’ll be “Fallin’ in Love” with NAMA and your new friends.

Mixing Up Our Mixers
After NAMA JAMA, we’ll be hitting the road for our mixers, exploring offices of some of the top marketing groups in town and visiting some interesting businesses in town.

A big thanks goes to Lynn Bennett’s membership team and the Grand Mixer Bill Selph for getting us out on the town.

Also, look for impromptu invitations to pop-up events for drinks in a popular watering hole.

Serious about SIGs
President-Elect Lori Whitbey and the SIG chairs are working on new SIG events for B2B, Healthcare, Non-Profits, Marketing Technology, Research and Collegiate Relations.

Get to know our SIG Chairs – B2B’s Paula Milam, Healthcare’s Andrea Gillotte, Non-Profits’ Bob Duthie, Marketing Technology’s Knight Stivender, Research’s Sheila King and Collegiate Relations James Scherer and mark your calendar for your favorite group.

We will also be extending the invitation to members interested in SIG start-up events in new categories like entertainment.

Free Member Events
Sometimes we just like to roll up of sleeves and learn some new things.  Sponsorship’s chair Austin Harrison is working with our sponsors on some casual member-free events to allow us to learn some new skills. Stay tuned.

Our Sponsors are leading the way in making our year successful. We thank each of them for their contributions.

And our treasurers Jason Hoard and Jeff Peden are keeping us fiscally responsible. Oh, and they love a good party.

Our historian Julie McReynolds is providing continuity, and our secretary Kurt Kirton is working on updates to our Job Board.

Our Communications team, led by Melinda Hudgins Noblitt and our Social Media team chaired by Elizabeth Duffey, will make sure you are informed with new blogs, a newsletter, website updates, and social media. Mark your calendars!

And our Volunteer team chaired by Tim Earnhardt will make sure you find a place to plug in.

Our goals are pretty simple: this year is about making long-lasting marketing friends, learning some audacious new skills, and having a little fun.


Please take the time to make new friends at NAMA. Instead of just coming to “network,” wouldn’t it be great if you got involved, made lasting relationships, learned some new skills, and found great business partners?!

That’s something to toast about! Happy New Year, NAMA!



Jamie Dunham is 2016-2017 President of Nashville AMA. She is founder and president of Brand Wise, a brand strategy firm with a focus on building culturally relevant brands. She authors the popular blog Lipstick Economy offering perspectives on marketing to women. Brand Wise is hosting Red Letter Day, a one-day marketing to women event on August 5. 

Member Spotlight: Katie Soltas

Katie Soltas

Katie Soltas
Account Supervisor, DVL Seigenthaler
Co-Chair, NAMA Communications Committee

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I’ve been involved with AMA since 2012, when I served as the programming co-chair in Hawaii. It was a natural move to join NAMA because I knew there would be networking opportunities when I moved to Nashville.

The group exceeded my expectations; I received a warm welcome from like-minded individuals who provided my first real sense of southern hospitality. It was comforting to have a foundation of friendship upon entering a new community. 

You currently serve on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
NAMA has done a lot for me, and I feel a responsibility to give back. As a PR professional, communicating an organization’s message in a strategic way is my passion.

What has been your proudest moment in this role?
I helped to launch the inaugural e-newsletter in February, which was an excellent professional development experience.

Now I love working with our Emma platform and can teach others how to use it! We always appreciate feedback and new ideas for the monthly newsletter.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
NAMA directly led me to my current position at DVL Seigenthaler, which was exactly what I was searching for in Nashville.

Current member Bill Selph, who I had only met by email at the time, introduced me to a contact that believed in me and provided amazing referrals. I feel lucky and am grateful for their help.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
I like the fact that NAMA is established and better-organized than many professional organizations. I LOVE that it’s comprised of marketing pros from many different disciplines that challenge me to think in ways outside of my comfort zone.

And it’s not as formal or scary as some referral groups (insert nervous teeth emoji).

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
I’ve been fortunate to work with many prestigious organizations and leaders, but meeting some of the last World War II Pearl Harbor survivors (and sharing their story with the media) on the teak decks of Battleship Missouri will remain at the top of my list.

Two other very important memories close to my heart were supporting the Waikiki Aquarium’s conservation efforts toward a more sustainable ocean ecosystem and helping Sheraton Kona share its important Hawaiian cultural story and history with its guests.

I can’t wait to see what Music City has in store for my career!


GS&F Promotes Gregg Boling to President

Editor’s Note | 5.23.16

Gregg Boling, formerly Executive Vice President of GS&F, has been named agency President. Boling, who joined GS&F in 2011, has led several successful growth initiatives for GS&F and will continue to shape the future of the agency as it expands.

Gregg Boling

“Gregg has been a very successful change-agent and leader for our organization,” said agency CEO Jeff Lipscomb, who will continue in his role as CEO. “He deserves this promotion based on his leadership abilities and success with transitions our company has made in order to meet our growth objectives.”

Jeff Lipscomb

Boling has spent more than 30 years in the marketing communications industry.

His work has been recognized on the local, regional, national and international levels by professional organizations and numerous publications like Print, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Communication Arts and more.

He has worked on numerous national brands like HCA, Jack Daniel’s, Bridgestone, KFC, Saturn, Coca-Cola and more.

An adept team leader and entrepreneur, he spent much of the mid 2000s consulting on national brands from coast to coast on efforts ranging from brand strategy to integrated campaigns and digital strategy.

He brought his unique talents and creative insights to GS&F in 2011 as SVP, Creative Director. Since then, he has led creative, digital and project teams on fully integrated campaigns for Bridgestone and the Tennessee Titans, among others.

Boling has been integral in managing the ongoing evolution of GS&F as the agency pursues its goal of complete, seamless integration between all traditional and digital disciplines.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this promotion to President of GS&F,” said Boling. “Our achievements are driven by the team members and leaders who are dedicated to our long-term vision. I look forward to our continued success and growth due to the agency’s commitment to this vision coupled with the addition of talented new team members across the agency who make us stronger.”

GS&F’s leadership and great work in the advertising community has been recognized with several awards this year.

At the 2016 ADDY Awards, GS&F took home the Overall Best in Show award for their work for 4:13 Strong, a nonprofit organization that helps at-risk young men rebuild their lives.

Additionally, GS&F received twelve PRSA awards at this year’s 2016 Parthenon Awards, a testament to integrated work being led by the public relations department.

These accolades come on the heels of extraordinary growth for the agency, which has doubled in size since 2013, now rounding out at more than 110 employees.

About GS&F: GS&F is a fully integrated marketing communications agency based in Nashville. We take an unbiased approach to discover what is true about your brand and create an experience to reach consumers and drive results.

GS&F provides clients expert marketing, planning, creative, web and app development, UX, and media and public relations specialists under one roof.

The agency serves national, regional and local accounts, including A. O. Smith, Bridgestone, Hunt Brothers Pizza, International Comfort Products, LP Building Products, Nashville Predators, Tennessee Titans, and The University of Tennessee Medical Center.

For more information, visit www.gsandf.com or call 615-385-1100.